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Peach yellows regulations
Peach yellows (PY) is a serious disease of almond, apricot, cherry, nectarine, peach, plum, and prune (Prunus spp.).  PY is caused by a bacterial like organism called a phytoplasma. Plants infected with the phytoplasma will display leaf buds that remain dormant.  Leaves that develop are yellowed and stunted with entire shoots dieing back.  Tree death may occur, typically 2-3 years after exposure to PY. The phytoplasma is spread or vectored by the plum leafhopper, Macropsis trimaculata, or by root grafts.

PY was first reported on peach in Pennsylvania in 1791. The phytoplasma is now known to occur in the following states and provinces in North America: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Ontario. The disease is not known to occur in Oregon.

A quarantine was established by the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) against peach yellows in 1974 under Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 603-052-0114 to stop the continued spread of the disease. Areas under quarantine include Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and District of Columbia. Commodities covered under quarantine comprise propagating parts (except seeds) and any trees budded or grafted on understock of the following species of plum which are symptomless carriers of PY: native American plum, (Prunus hortulana and P. americana), common or European plum (P. domestica), Japanese plum (P. salicina), Myrobalan plum (P. cerasifera), Othello plum (P. cerasifera var. atropur-purea), wild goose plum (P. munsoniana); all trees, roots, stalks, cuttings, grafts, scions, and buds of all species and varieties of Prunus except sweet cherry (P. avium), sour cherry (P. cerasus), Portugal laurel (P. lusitanica), common cherry laurel (P. laurocerasus), holly leaved cherry (P. ilicifolia), and Catalina cherry (P. lyonii); any tree or bud grafted on peach or plum understock.

Quarantine commodities may be permitted entry into Oregon provided each lot or shipment is accompanied by a certificate issued by an official agency of the state of origin certifying that all commodities covered by the certificate meet the following criteria:
  • Seedling trees or trees budded on rootstock which are grown from seed and shipped in one growing season may be certified provided any budwood used in the production has been tested and found free of PY disease during the growing season either on or within one mile of the growing ground property.
  • Certificates may be issued for re-shipment of dormant host trees and propagative parts which have been produced outside the areas under quarantine and have remained dormant while within such areas. Certificates shall state the name of the state where produced.
  • Species and varieties other than symptomless carriers may be shipped into Oregon provided they are properly labeled as to scientific name and each lot or shipment is accompanied by a state of origin inspection certificate certifying that the following conditions have been met: (1) adequate surveys have been made by state agricultural officials, at the proper time in relation to diseases and hosts, and PY disease has not been found during the last two growing seasons previous to digging the trees or taking the buds either on or within one mile of the growing grounds or bud source properties; and (2) the growing premises have been free from any prohibited symptomless species of plum trees or any other tree growing on any prohibited species of plum understock and, during the last two growing seasons previous to digging the trees or taking the buds, any prohibited symptomless species of plum trees has not existed within one mile of the growing premises or bud source properties.
The department may issue a special permit for quarantined commodities used strictly for research purposes. Interested parties must apply and be approved by the ODA for such permits. Movement of quarantined commodities shall be subject to any conditions or restrictions stipulated in the permit. This section does not apply to experimental shipments moved by, or at the request of, the United States Department of Agriculture.

Commodities shipped in violation of this quarantine shall be refused entry into this state and shall be immediately sent out of this state or, at without expense to or indemnity paid by the department, destroyed under ODA supervision by the person receiving the same. Violators may also be subject to civil penalties of up to $10,000 as provide by Oregon Laws 1999, Chapter 390, section 2.